Playing at a country fair in the Orlando area, L-R:
Jimmy Stewart lead guitar, his wife Debbie Gibboney Stewart on acoustic guitar and vocals, and Billy Bruce on bass.
In the studio at Billy's house in Pelican Bay, Daytona Beach:
Billy Bruce bass, Debbie Gibboney Stewart acoustic guitar and vocals, and Jimmy Stewart lead acoustic guitar.
The Helamonsters don’t look so scary, but that was the name the Stewarts
in the band gave them. It’s what you get when you get a folk group made
up of Scottish folks.Bruces and Stewarts that is.
The original members of the trio were the duo of married couple Jimmy
Stewart and Debbie Gibboney Stewart, with Debbie leading on lead vocals
and acoustic guitar and Jimmy backing her with sweet licks on his Fender
Telecaster and acoustic guitar.
The couple live in the Orlando, Florida area and crossed paths with
Valdosta, Georgia musician Billy Bruce in the mid-1990s when Billy
joined Strang Communications in Lake Mary just north of Orlando
to work as news editor for Charisma Magazine and Ministries Today
Jimmy Stewart was associate editor over those magazines, as well.
“We worked on the same thiurd floor in the same room full of cubicle,
putting these great magazines out, when I found out Jimmy and Debbie
played guitar and had this folk thing going,” Bruce said.
Bruce was new learning guitar and bass, and needed an opportunity to
shore up his bass licks, so offered to play some with the Stewarts.
"I’d like to talk them into moving to Hahira, Ga., to get out of that
Florida rat race and continue their music up here,” Bruce said.
He and Jimmy had a blast and shocked their magazine staffs when they
attended a Rolling Stones concert in Orlando. “All we could do was plead
The Blood when they cranked up ‘Sympathy For The Devil,’ “ Bruce
Bruce also used Jimmy on the instrumental rocker “Abilene” on his first
solo album, “One Lane Bridge.”
“You can see where Jimmy’s influences are in Clapton and Allman and
such,” Bruce said. “Jimmy can crank it!”
Maybe there will be a Helamonsters reunion afoot in the near future.
Pics and info courtesy Billy Bruce
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